Stardew Valley is a farming simulator, where you play as a disenfranchised office worker tired of the rat race of corporate life that has inherited a farm from your recently deceased grandfather.  You decide to move to the town of Stardew Valley and begin learning the ins and outs of farm life.  In Stardew Valley, you can farm fields, care for animals, dungeon crawl the mines, fish, or just hang out with the local towns people.

Stardew Valley was originally released in February of 2016 and took Steam, Twitch and YouTube by storm.  Part of it’s popularity can be attributed to it’s creator Eric Barone, otherwise known as Concerned Ape, ability to create the entire game by himself!  Most people, when playing for the first time realize how similar it is to another popular farming series Harvest Moon, but it was created by one person and with greater depth.

In Concerned Ape’s game, the townspeople feel like real people.  There are definitely stereotypes in the game, but the characters deal with things like alcoholism, depression, and partners away at war; as well as happy things, like working towards their dreams of being writers, artists, or kick butt ladies in arms.  You can also chose to woo characters regardless of gender, and some character storylines take that into account when you have heart events regarding their past relationships.

Concerned Ape has never stopped working on the game.  There have been multiple updates since it’s release two years ago, adding more and more content to his pet project based on user suggestions largely from the Stardew Valley Reddit.  In the modern gaming landscape of lootboxes and paid DLC, the fact that Concerned Ape is still adding all this new content for free has just increased value to an already great game.  The price itself makes the game a steal, considering similar farming sims like the aforementioned Harvest Moon series or Animal Crossing are $39.99-$59.99, Stardew Valley is only $14.99 and available on PS4, Switch, Xbox and Steam.

One of the most anticipated updates, is online multiplayer.  Concerned Ape has partnered with a member of his publisher’s team Chucklefish to make this feature a reality.  He announced yesterday on his twitter that players can expect 4 player multiplayer to be released in May.  It’s speculated that the multi player will function similar to Don’t Starve Together without the survival aspect, and will at first only be available for Steam versions of the game.

With the multiplayer release about a month away, now is the best time to give this fantastic game a try to learn the ins and outs before playing with your friends.

Gameplay: 5

Controls: 5

Graphics: 4

Music: 3

Value: 5

Overall: 4.4